The evacuation zone grew Sunday for a nearly 2,000-acre fire burning in the foothills about 12 miles north of Ellensburg, but most of the additional areas are woods and forests.
Those areas, which are east and north of the fire, were added to the mandatory evacuation area to ensure that any campers or others in those regions don’t get trapped if the fire moves toward them, said Jill Beedle, spokeswoman for the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center.
And while the overall evacuation area grew, officials allowed some residents who live southeast of the fire to return home. They are still under Level 2, which means they might have to leave quickly if the fire starts to move in their direction, but their homes no longer are listed as Level 3, which is mandatory evacuation.
Officials now say that fire, known as the Snag Canyon fire, is an estimated 1,830 acres or almost 3 square miles. They earlier said it was 3,600 acres, but Beedle said the fire team was able to get a better estimate Sunday, especially after some smoke subsided.
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Officials haven’t yet been able to confirm how many homes and other structures have been destroyed. The estimate is eight to 12. About 180 more homes are threatened by the fire.
Beedle said the fire is in an area that’s seen a couple of other blazes in recent years.
“People are sadly used to evacuating,” she said.
In the Methow Valley on Sunday, firefighters hoped by Sunday evening to fully contain the 500-acre Rising Eagle Road fire that started Friday between Twisp and Winthrop.
Dozens of residents there remained under emergency evacuation, and eight structures have been destroyed, including at least six homes, said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.
Firefighters also made progress with the 253,000-acre (395-square-mile) Carlton complex fire in North Central Washington, which is now 82 percent contained. No residents near that fire remain under emergency evacuations.
“Today was a pretty good day,” Rogers said. “It got hot … but there were no extra fire calls.”
A new fire flared up above Ingalls Creek in the Blewett Pass corridor, where some homes were put on Level 1 and 2 alerts, The Wenatchee World reported. The paper said helicopters dumped water on that fire, the Hansel Creek fire, on Sunday evening.